>> welcome to the "journal" live from berlin. >> here's what's coming up -- the colombian government and rebels head into peace talks aimed at ending latin america's longest-running insurgencies. >> barack obama and mitt romney go head-to-head in a fiery debate three weeks ahead of presidential elections. >> the german soccer team face up to their humbling draw in their world cup qualifier in sweden.
peace negotiators for the colombian government and the farq rebel group are in talks to end decades of conflict that have claimed tens of thousands of lives and still on the nation's economic and political development. >> the fark is thought to have about 10,000 rebels, but that is down from twice that number a few years ago. >> they have been tasked with reaching a deal with rebels. after months of planning, both sides agreed to a close-door meeting in oslo. >> we are leaving now with hope, with moderate optimism. we do not believe ij and false expectations, but we think that the structural elements exist that will allow us to have hope, and hopefully, we have good news for columbia -- colombia.
>> for almost half a century, leftist farc guerrillas have waged war, financing their campaign through drug trafficking and hostage-taking. their most prominent captive was the former colombian presidential candidate who spent six years in a jungle camp before her release. the fate of other hostages is still unknown. their families hope their concerns will be heard in oslo. >> we feel the pain, and we need to know the truth. these people need to be reunited with their loved ones. we are appealing to the government and to farc to put this at the top of the agenda and listen to victims. >> peace negotiations have failed three times before.
now, the people looking to oslo for the long-awaited break through. >> colombians are longing for peace, but what exactly are the biggest obstacles that the government and rebels are bringing to the negotiating table? >> we put that question to our next guest. >> i think there are at least two big obstacles. one is to solve one of the biggest challenges of colombian history. difficulties to survive in the rural areas does feed in the war on one side and in the narco trafficking and drug production on the other side. it is one of the crucial issues that parties have to cope with. the other is to find equilibrium between the possibilities for the farc to participate on one
side in colombian civil politics and the rights of victims of violence of all sides, all armed actors in the conflict on the other side. >> we will have more on the situation in colombia later, but regional calls are backing calls for the cease-fire. >> the arab league and turkey are on board, an iranian state media says that tehran has also thrown its support behind a plan. >> the syrian peace envoy proposed the deal this week during a second tour of the middle east aimed at stopping violence. >> inside syria, the fighting continues. rebel fighters say they shot down an army helicopter. >> criminal proceedings have started against a key opponent of president vladimir putin.
>> he has been a prominent leader of protests against the president, and authorities claim that a documentary on a pro- kremlin tv channel shows evidence that he plotted mass disorder. >> civil rights groups and critics say it is part of a broader clampdown from russia. >> police raided his apartment in the early hours of wednesday and arrested him. officials accused the russian opposition leader of plotting a coup and planning violent attacks against the state. >> for those who think they can with impunity organize riots, plan and prepare terrorist attacks and other acts that threaten the lives of russians, you underestimate the russian special services' professionalism. >> prosecutors base their accusations on what they say are secret recordings, said to show an anti-government activist who
has organized mass street protests against president putin. his supporters were dismayed by the arrest. >> this is another step in suppressing the opposition. it is worsening every day. i do not know where this will lead our country. >> they think we will not protest without him, but he is not making me take to the streets. it is my conscience and my hatred for the regime. >> the opposition leader was later released, but he has been barred from leaving moscow. if convicted, he could face 10 years in prison. >> russia's opposition is feeling the pinch. it seemed a documentary aired on pro-kremlin tv is enough to open a case. the putin administration is showing less and less restraint when it comes to silencing his critics. >> u.s. president barack obama and his republican challenger mitt romney are back on the campaign trail today visiting
key swing states just hours after squaring off in a confrontatioal tv debate. >> obama is visiting the swing state of ohio. mitt romney on the other hand spent the day in virginia, another key state likely to determine this election's outcome. >> last night's debates saw a obama back in rhetorical form of less than three weeks to go -- with less than three weeks to go. >> after a listless performance in the first debate, barack obama promised to be more aggressive in the rematch. after preliminary niceties, both candidates went on the attack. >> the middle class has been crushed over the last four years, and jobs have been too scarce. i know what it takes to bring them back. >> when he said behind closed doors that 47% of the country considered themselves victims, who refuse personal responsibility, think about who
he was talking about. folks on social security who have worked all their lives. veterans who sacrificed for this country. >> mitt romney again criticized the president for the attack on a u.s. consulate in libya, prompting one of the night's many heated exchanges. >> you said in the rose garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. it was not a spontaneous demonstration. is that what you're saying? >> please proceed, governor. >> want to make sure we get that for the record. it did the president 14 days before he called the attack in benghazi an act of terror. >> get the transcript. >> he did. >> i think it is great to see obama come out in full force. he showed us what campaign obama looks like and he wants to fight for our country. >> i have to say, romney was more articulate, but obama had
more points that i think will stand up to fact checking and scrutiny. >> barack obama and mitt romney will face off one last time in florida next monday. in germany, the government has raised its economic growth forecast for the current year, but as the prognosis for next year. berlin says growth in 2012 is likely to reach 0.8%, 0.0% -- 0.01% more than forecast. the move follows similar changey germany cannot remain immune from the downturn in the global economy. >> investors, on the other hand, seemed to take the news in stride, sending stocks higher on wednesday. our correspondent has more from frankfurt. >> traders are currently not worried about the danger of a recession in germany.
a big relief came from ratings agency moody's, which did not lower spain's credit rating as threatened. this decision had a strong impact on the bond market, bringing down spain's borrowing costs, and it helped the euro. it was also a record date. the index of germany's mid-size companies reached the highest level since its creation in the year 1994. >> let's get a closer look at market numbers for you. we say in frankfurt where germany's blue-chip stocks higher on the day. it was a similar story for the euro stoxx 50. in new york, trading is still under way for the dow jones industrial average. it is fractionally lower. the euro trading for $1.3134, near a one-month high on wednesday.
>> germany's political parties have agreed on a framework for new electoral laws. the kind -- the country deal is expected to be hammered out in coming weeks. the country's highest court ruled that existing laws are unconstitutional because they disadvantage smaller parties. the new legislation aims to make the german parliament a better reflection of the national vote, but some say it could also result in substantially more seats in the bundestag. soccer fans in germany still searching for answers a day after sweden roared back from a 4-0 deficit in their world cup qualifier against germany. the game was played on home turf. >> the swedes took home a tie score with four goals in 30 minutes. to say the result left germany stunned would be an understatement. >> it was an unprecedented collapse as the team threw away
a four-goal lead at home in berlin. >> it was psychological. you are up for zero, everything is running smoothly, and the first guy runs a little slower. in the second guy. you lose the ball. you lose the one-on-one battles. >> to all the more stunning since the german side dominated the swedes for the first hour. the total blackout -- fans could not believe it. >> sweden will gut. germany went to sleep. a purely psychological reaction. -- sweden woke up. germany went to sleep. >> no german player was capable of slowing a swedish onslaughts. >> we have to learn our lesson. you cannot slacked off at an international level. you have to give your best for 90 minutes and take every ball and throw in seriously.
>> a disappointing end to a disappointing year for the german team. sweden, on the other hand, will be celebrating their amazing feat for years to come. >> what a game it was. let's go live to our sports correspondent, who joins us in the studio. you were at that game. what happened to the german team? >> the game did not end after 60 minutes, as a seemingly wished it would. despite the bad results, germany's midfielder was right to say that those 60 minutes -- the first 60 minutes in that game -- were probably the best 60 minutes of football germany had played in a good eight or nine years. their attack looked extremely fluid. it was up to a downright spanish level of fluidity. basically, what happened is what the team manager said -- one guy after another after they took a 4-0 lead started to slow down,
started to try less hard. after those goals went in in two minutes, i too was a failure of will. there was nobody there to take the game by the scruff of the neck and settle everything down. >> speaking of failures, this has happened before, a confident start only to blow it in the end. has the team simply lost its magic? >> i think it has, and i think that is probably a good thing. this is a team that has been really fettered by the press, by the fans, not just in germany but abroad as well for their lovely play. maybe they were over-praised too soon, since they put on the display that they did in world cup 2010. this was treated as a team of destiny. a prominent magazine compared them to the 1972 european championship-winning team, a team some think is the best german team of all time, but they did not learn anything. now maybe they got a reminder that they need to work for every bit of success.
>> welcome back. >> the colombian government and four rebel group are in -- farc rebel group are in talks today. >> the struggle has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. peter headed into the colombian jungle, deep into farc territory and found a population scared by the conflict. >> takes us to one of the strongholds of colombia's farc
guerrillas. we power of the river toward ecuador. the dense forest along the border offers protection to the rebels, who have waged an armed struggle for almost five decades. soldiers at a military checkpoint are instantly mistrustful, and they searched our baggage. at times, it seems that everyone within 50 kilometers is aware of the presence of foreign journalists. officials warned us that the guerrillas and far-right paramilitary groups are terrorizing the town, and they said that local residents would be too afraid to talk. the recently executed one man as an example. only one soldier was willing to speak to us. >> the people are only doing what they are told. they are scared and just want to stay out of trouble. they avoid everything that could cause more problems or more
deaths. >> back in bogota, the government is ready to talk peace with the rebels. while the military has eroded their strength in recent years, they have failed to declare a decisive victory. >> both sides have tried their utmost to win this conflict. the colombian government with the help of the united states has doubled its military and police force. we have a stronger military today in brazil, which is a much larger country. >> the rebels have carried out some terrible attacks in our cities, but the state still has not been able to defeat farc and the rebels have not been able to seize power. >> an estimated 5 million people have been displaced by the fighting on both sides of the border. many are stranded in southern colombia.
after her husband was killed by farc militia, she and her husband were forced to flee their farm. -- she and her children were forced to flee their farm. now she lives here in poverty and still in fear for her family. >> letting my son go to ecuador to work was the worst decision of my life. he was abducted on the way their -- there. i do not know if he is alive or dead. my life has been a living hell for the past month and 12 days. >> despite her own concerns, she takes time to care for a neighbor who is critically ill. she can no longer walk. she lives here with her 9-year- old granddaughter, whose father was killed. her mother ran away to ecuador. now, her 70-year-old grandmother
is terminally ill. despite the peace process, people still live under the continuous fear of violence. the local school was sprayed with bullets during a recent gun battle. the cemetery is filled to the breaking point. until just a few years ago, locals built elaborate correct for their loved ones. -- elaborate crypts for their loved ones. now a simple wall is all they have to remember them. many bear this year's state and photos of the young victims, but room is running out even for that. a genuine peace, it seems, is still far away. >> coming up, we will talk about the lighter side of the eurozone debt crisis. believe it or not, there actually is won. >> it is hard to believe. first, a look at some other stories making news.
>> the body of cambodia's former king has arrived in palm pen on a plane from china. he died on monday of a heart attack in beijing, where he had been receiving medical treatment since january. he was 89. the body lay in state for three months. >> weather forecasters in mexico say tropical storm paul remains a threat. it is unlikely to make landfall, but could cause some flash floods and dangerous ocean swells. it was originally classified as a hurricane. >> officials in afghanistan sale least 45 afghan soldiers have been in it -- injured in a suicide last in the east of the country. the bomber drove his explosives- laden vehicles into a joint nato/afghan base. the taliban has claimed responsibility. >> disgraced cycling star lance armstrong has resigned as
chairman of the cancer charity leavestrong -- livestrong. >> sports equipment maker nike has announced it will no longer sponsor armstrong, based on growing evidence armstrong had misled the company for more than a decade. >> in europe, with public pressure mounting over the economic environment of cost of biofuels, the european commission announced a major correction in its policies that could eventually see the sector scaled way back. >> commissioners say new proposals out today send out the right signal for the industry, which would have to move onto a new generation of fuel that do not compete with demand for food. >> european energy commissioner and the european commissioner
for climate action did not exactly present a united front. they've announced plans to restrict the growth of biofuels. one is pushing for stronger emissions standards for new motor vehicles, while the others concerned about the impact on the automotive industry. >> it is about fairly sharing the burden between the manufacturers of large and small vehicles, and we have to take into account certain interests that will affect how european manufacturers compete in global markets. oetinger has come under fire for a letter he wrote to a car maker in which he wrote about pushing for flexible interpretation of emissions standards. greenpeace says his efforts amount to lobbying. >> what worries us is that he has quite clearly contributed to putting loopholes into a law regarding climate change, a law that will make cars more efficient.
the climate commissioner was careful not to criticize her colleague openly. >> become a crisis did not solve itself because we were busy handling the economics. the big trick for europe right now is how to combine the exit of all these crises, and i believe it is doable, but not by pleasing industry. also by putting up requirements and regulation. >> the issue of fuel standards has exposed deep rifts between the european commission's environment and industry officials. >> germany and france are on a collision course over the future of the eurozone just ahead of thursday's key summit of european leaders aimed at setting out a framework to deal with the crisis. >> while german chancellor angela merkel has stepped up her campaign for budget cuts and handing brussels more power, french president francois hollande on the other hand wants emergency measures to stabilize economies right now. >> some leaders are starting to question the current course, and angela merkel has become a prime
target for political cartoonists, being cast as the austerity clean. >> like other european leaders, angela merkel is used to getting her picture taken. for the media, the chancellor is a front-page picture, but she is also a favorite with europe poses political cartoonists. the greek daily shows a military merkel telling the greek prime minister to stand at attention. he timidly asks for a bit of wiggle room. the athens newspaper casks -- casts the chancellor in a slightly better light. and in french weekly, a cartoon merkel visits agrees, saying she hopes her reception did not cost too much. the berlin-based political journal cicero recounts the
encounter with alexander the great. the nobel peace prize for the eu has been another big motif for europe's political cartoonists. the announcement provided plenty of comedic inspiration as france's represented -- representative quick to that they may have won the peace prize but would have to do without the award for economics. in berlin, a peace dove blissfully unaware of the vulture behind it. the scavenger warns europe not to celebrate too soon. the conservative spanish paper shows protesters demanding their share of the 940,000 euro nobel
prize money. in the barcelona daily, even the german chancellor is looking to exchange the metal for cash. in france's paper, shows greece sweeping in to collect the cash while the rest of europe bidders. but for spain's biggest newspaper, the most powerful woman is the one to receive the award. she gives a patronizing thanks to those who have stood by her in tough times. >> thanks so much for joining us for this edition of the "journal" here on dw. >> we will see you next time. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--